The Georgia Citrus Association (GCA) recently announced several issues of importance to Georgia citrus growers:
LAST CALL FOR COMMISSIONERS
Nominations for members of the Georgia Citrus Commission are due May 26 to the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The commission will help fund needs for the future of Georgia’s citrus industry. More information is available from Andy Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GCA is asking growers to report their planted citrus acreage to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA). FSA records reflect reported citrus acreage in Georgia as 1,660 acres. However, GCA estimates that the number is closer to 4,000 acres.
Knowing the acreage is helpful at times of natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and freeze events. Having accurate numbers is also important when the citrus industry is soliciting assistance from policymakers on matters involving funding for research, education and marketing.
FOOD SAFETY ASSISTANCE
An FSA program called the Food Safety Certification for Specialty Crops is available to specialty crop operations that incurred on-farm food safety expenses in 2022 and 2023.
FSA is planning a training/round table discussion on July 12 in Tifton about the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) and the Tree Assistance Program (TAP). The meeting is an opportunity to learn more about these programs or to provide thoughts/comments regarding them.
There will be a public meeting on June 21 in Albany regarding the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) consideration of agricultural frost protection withdrawal permits in portions of the Flint River Basin. EPD, among other things, covers a grower’s ability (or not) to use groundwater. The ability to obtain a withdrawal permit for frost protection greatly affects the citrus industry. GCA urges growers to attend the meeting or provide input.
GCA also reported that many growers who had setbacks as a result of severe freezing weather this past winter have replanted and are moving forward. The association said it has garnered “tremendous support” from legislators, the Georgia governor, universities, government agencies and agricultural support industries.
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